8 Warm Outfit Ideas for Dining Outside When It's Cold

I never thought I'd be writing about the predicament of what to wear to dine outdoors in all kinds of weather, but it's our reality in 2021, so here I am to give you some advice. I, for one, have dined outdoors in the heat with flies swarming last summer and in the rain this year, although it seems that dining outside in less-than-ideal temperatures is our current situation (come on, spring, where are you?)

But it's going to take a little preparation, so let's discuss it. As someone who is always freezing, I think I'm well-suited to speak on the topic of dressing for warmth without sacrificing your sense of style. The thing that makes outdoor dining such a challenge is that you can't sit there and eat your soup in a puffer and scarf and not be uncomfortable (but if you can, tell me your secrets). You're going to want to wear warm base layers and choose your outerwear carefully, and hopefully, there will be heating. 

To guide you, below you'll find eight perfect outfit ideas for outdoor dining, whatever the weather, along with a tip to glean for each and what to buy to see you through until the weather actually gets warm again. Good luck out there, and don't forget your mask.

Outfit Tip: Wear Warm Accessories
Outdoor dining outfit: wear warm accessories



My friend (and former Who What Wear editor!) Aemilia is my outdoor dining muse with this look. Note the hat and cosy socks. Chic, warm accessories are key here. You want to leave as little skin as possible exposed, but when it does get warmer, you've got the layers to peel off. 

Outfit Tip: Top a Sweater With an Oversized Blazer
Outdoor dining outfit: top a sweater with an oversized blazer



What we're going for here is outerwear that you don't need to take off when you sit down to dine. An oversized blazer is perfect—just make sure that your sweater is warm and that your blazer is made of wool or leather.

Outfit Tip: Order a Shacket ASAP
Outdoor dining outfit: order a shacket ASAP



Shackets are a trend this season, and they happen to make for a great non-bulky jacket. Opt for one that's made of wool or thick flannel, and if you want to wear a coat over it, make sure it's a little more slim-fitting like the Isabel Marant one below.

Outfit Tip: Wear a Sweater That's Heavy Enough to Wear When You Take Off Your Coat
Outdoor dining outfit: wear a sweater that's heavy enough to wear when you take off your coat



When feasible, skip the coat and wear your warmest, wooliest sweater (preferably with corduroys). 

Outfit Tip: Long Sleeves Are Key
Outdoor dining outfit: roll necks are key



Aim for long sleeves to layer up in and keep the chill at bay. Try a joyful colour on your coat to make it feel at least a little spring-like. 

Outfit Tip: Go Oversized
Outdoor dining outfit: reconsider tights



If you can't forgo a jacket just yet (and who can, let's be honest), ensure it's oversized. More material to keep you warm and more space to layer a chunky knit underneath if needed. 

Outfit Tip: Swap Your Puffer for a Fluffy Coat
Outdoor dining outfit: wear a wool coat for warmth without bulk



A fluffy coat just might be your saviour during the chillier spring months. Unlike a puffer, if it's roomy enough, it's not all that unheard of to keep it on while you dine. 

Outfit Tip: Try a Bomber Jacket or Cropped Puffer
Outdoor dining outfit: Try a Bomber Jacket or Cropped Puffer



If it's cold enough to require a puffer but you're sick of wearing one, try a bomber jacket or a cropped puffer for twist on the winter coat. Ideal for wearing with your spring outfits. 

Next up, the biggest spring/summer 2021 fashion trends to know. 

This piece originally appeared on Who What Wear U.S. 

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